In a report by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) published today (Thursday) titled ‘The Case for an Independent Retirement Savings Commission’ the National Association of Pension Funds, Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) come together to make the case for a standing independent retirement savings commission.
As part of the report the NAPF published consumer research into how savers feel about the way pensions policy is developed in the UK and the effect this has on their views of pension saving.
Fewer than one in three (29%) think recent pensions policy changes have made them more confident about the future of their pension savings and 56% of people feel more uncertain about what the future holds for their retirement.
Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, National Association of Pension Funds, commented:
“Thanks to automatic enrolment, 5.2 million people are saving in a workplace pension today who were not five years ago. This achievement has its foundations in the work of the Pensions Commission, chaired by Lord Turner a decade ago. But our research shows there is a very real discrepancy between this positive progress and how confident, or not, people feel about saving for a pension. We believe this is a result of pensions policy driven by short-term priorities and political expediency creating a feeling of uncertainty among many employers that contribute to pensions and the savers that rely on them.”
An overwhelming majority of people (84%) agreed that an independent commission should be set up by a future Government and a similar proportion said it should be politically neutral (85%), impartial in its recommendations to Government (85%), and should focus not just on pensions but include the wider range of issues that affect both when people retire and the kind of retirement they have (87%).
Eight in ten (83%) were in favour of a permanent commission – one that would last more than one parliamentary term, would endure through future political cycles and provide independent, expert advice to all future UK Governments, regardless of their political make-up.
Joanne Segars, continued:
“Today’s report shows the breadth and depth of support that exists for creating an independent retirement savings commission. A new standing commission will help make sure the long-term interests of savers, not the short-term interests of politicians, are at the heart of pensions policy. That matters because someone starting work today will see eight or nine General Elections before they start to draw their pension – eight or nine potential swings of the pensions policy pendulum which will do little to build saver confidence.
“This support for a standing commission stretches well beyond the people who work in pensions to the everyday savers who will rely on their pensions for a decent income in retirement. The idea of such a commission is not a new one but it has yet to become a reality – our report shows there is growing chorus for that to change, and soon.”
The research was published in a report titled ‘The Case for an Independent Retirement Savings Commission’ that includes contributions from a diverse range of organisations covering pension schemes, employers, unions, professional bodies and think-tanks. It will be launched this morning at an event where panel speakers include:
- National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) Chief Executive, Joanne Segars
- Association of British Insurers (ABI) Director General, Huw Evans
- Trade Union Congress (TUC) Head of Campaigns, Nigel Stanley
- Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Policy Director, Mike Cherry
The Case for an Independent Retirement Savings Commission
Notes to editors
The NAPF is the voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for over 1,300 pension schemes that provide pensions for over 17 million people and have more than £900 billion of assets. We also have 400 members from businesses supporting the pensions sector.
We aim to help everyone get more out of their retirement savings. To do this we spread best practice among our members, challenge regulation where it adds more cost than benefit and promote policies that add value for savers.
About the consumer research
Populus surveyed 1,015 adults aged over 18 in the UK online between 31 March and 2 April 2015. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all adults in the UK.
Lucy Grubb, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1726 or 07713 073023, [email protected]
Eleanor Bennett, PR Manager, NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]